Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Salivary Gland Cancer

The exact cause of salivary gland cancer is unknown, but certain factors increase your risk of developing this type of cancer. Risk factors include:

  • Chewing tobacco
  • Smoking
  • Older age
  • Radiation therapy treatment to head or neck
  • Being exposed to certain carcinogenic substances at work, such as dust from industrial fiber


To diagnose salivary gland cancer, your physician will conduct a physical exam of the face, neck, throat and mouth, followed by imaging tests and a biopsy of any suspicious areas.